The day before we flew to Brisbane, the result of the postal survey was announced. I watched the result sitting on the floor of a meeting room at work, low to the ground and alone. In the afternoon I went home and lay on my bed in a heap and looked over our YES poster out the window. I felt a lot of things that day, like I had in the all the days leading up. But in the overwhelming whirl the thing that rose to the top was loneliness. There was a lot of distant friends I wanted to be with. I wanted to hug them and drink wine and be close, sitting together with all of it. And in the mess of emotions they felt awfully far away.
November was my last unplanned trip for the year. I wanted to go to Brisbane. My friend Lizzy had invited me to stay and there were people I wanted to visit, but it seemed too far and too hard. Then boyfriend got asked to fly up, to launch a book he’d helped bring into the world. And it was one of those strange moments where things seemed to mysteriously fall into place.
Twenty-four hours after I’d been lying on our bed overwhelmed by geography, I was sitting in a beer garden in Brisbane, surrounded by a strange collection of friends. We had messy food, dripping sauce onto the table and sharing bowls of chips. We bought flavoured cider and bottles of beer. We talked. And we laughed. We sent messages to other friends we wished were there. We sat close and it didn’t matter that we were usually states apart. I was reminded that loneliness is fleeting. It’s just the moments in between. And those moments tend to pass.